Kenyans Brace for Hard Times as Nurses Down Their Tools

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Nurses across several counties in the country made good their threat and downed their tools Monday morning. The strike kicked off in at least 11 counties namely,Kisumu, Nyeri, West Pokot, Taita Taveta, Kitui, Trans Nzoia, Elgeyo Marakwet,Wajir, Nyandarua, Kisii and Nairobi. According to the nurses’ union, these counties have failed to implement the return-to-work formula agreed to suspend the previous strike.

Kenyans may be forced to rely on alternative treatment options such as private healthcare facilities.

While addressing a press conference earlier today, Kenya National Union of Nurses secretary general Seth Panyako urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to fire non-performing cabinet secretaries among them, Labor CS Ukur Yattani for allegedly failing to address their issues despite issuing a strike notice back in November 2018.

“We will not settle for anything less. Nurses want full implementation of the CBA and the 2017 return-to-work formula, not negotiation,” Panyako said.


The strike is expected to paralyze several public hospitals and also affect the implementation of the pilot program of the Universal Health Coverage launched by the government last.

“The strike has begun, the Labor CS has no mandate to stop workers’ strike”, Panyako promised while adding that, “there is only one option to end this stalemate, which is for nurses to be paid”.

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On the other hand, Yattani asked the union to call off the strike to allow room for negotiations. The Labor CS said so while constituting a 3-member team led by the chairperson Harun Mwaura. The other two members are Benson Okwaro and Moses Omboko. The CS tasked the team to spearhead the talks between the Council of Governors and the nurses.

The nurses’ union officials were not present in the meeting as Yattani said, “the interests of the public should come first”, as he urged the nurses to call off the strike.

His sentiments were echoed by the CoG chairperson, Wycliffe Oparanya, who asked the nurses to allow time for negotiation.

Kenyans are hoping that the strike will end soon as the nurses remain defiant.

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